From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Philomathy)

A philomath (/ˈfɪləmæθ/)[1] is a lover of learning and studying.

The term is from Greek philos (φίλος; "beloved", "loving", as in philosophy or philanthropy) and manthanein, math- (μανθάνειν, μαθ-; "to learn", as in polymath).

Philomathy is similar to, but distinguished from, philosophy in that -soph, the latter suffix, specifies "wisdom" or "knowledge", rather than the process of acquisition thereof. Philomath is not synonymous with polymath, as a polymath is someone who possesses great and detailed knowledge and facts from a variety of disciplines, while a philomath is someone who greatly enjoys learning and studying.


The shift in meaning for mathema is likely a result of the rapid categorization during the time of Plato and Aristotle of their mathemata in terms of education: arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and music (the quadrivium), which the Greeks found to create a "natural grouping" of mathematical (in the modern usage; "doctrina mathematica" in the ancient usage) precepts.

In a philosophical dialogue, King James penned the character Philomathes to debate on arguments of whether the ancient religious concepts of witchcraft should be punished in a politically fueled Christian society. The arguments King James poses through the character Epistemon are based on concepts of theological reasoning regarding society's belief, as his opponent, Philomathes, takes a philosophical stance on society's legal aspects but seeks to obtain the knowledge of Epistemon. This philosophical approach signified a philomath seeking to obtain greater knowledge through epistemology. The dialogue was used by King James to educate society on various concepts including the history and etymology of the subjects debated.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Philomath". Lexico UK English Dictionary. Oxford University Press. Archived from the original on 2021-05-07.
  2. ^ King James (2016) [1597]. Daemonologie (critical ed.). ISBN 1-5329-6891-4.

External links[edit]